Auto burglars may use high tech “tools” to target holiday shoppers

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Most of us now lock our vehicles with those electronic key fobs, but car thieves have risen to the challenge.

"As technology advances, we see more sophisticated ways for them to make entry in automobiles," MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, said.

Slim Jims, punch drills and rocks are being replaced with signal blockers or frequency jammers, which are available online for $100 or less.

The device interrupts the radio signal from the key fob to the car so owners think their vehicle is secure.

Karen Livingston parked outside her daughter's home one night only to discover the next morning, crooks cleaned her out.

"I opened up the vehicle and it was a total mess. A disaster," Livingston said.

Her laptop, jewelry, power tools -- even a cross necklace, given to her by her late mother, were all stolen.

Karen belives someone was watching and waiting with a frequency jammer.

"That obviously must have happened. They didn't break any windows. There's no damage to the vehicle," she said.

Another Oklahoma family caught thieves on their home surveillance. Two cars, which the owners knew they had locked, were burglarized in the night.

They also suspect a frequency jammer was used to access their vehicles.

As we embark on the Christmas shopping season, thieves armed with technology may be watching you too.

"Just do whatever you can to make the thief want to move to the next vehicle. If they look in your car and see valuables, they are going to hit it. If they don't, they will move right along," Knight said.

Those unattended packages are an attractive and easy target.

"If you wouldn't leave it sitting on the curb, don't leave it sitting in your car where someone can see it and take it because it's almost that simple," Knight said.

According to the Federal Communication Commission, "We remind and warn consumers that it is a violation of federal law to use a cell jammer or similar devices that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications ... "

But, that's little deterrent to the bad guys. So, check and double-check that your car and belongings are safe.

Otherwise, crooks just might intercept your Christmas too.

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